The low national ratings for last night's match has some people grousing about the Sunday evening start time, which is East Coast unfriendly, since kickoff for the match was after 10:00 pm Eastern time. The claim is that MLS is foolish to limit their East coast audience, especially for such a marquee event: a game between the biggest rivals in the league that's also the debut of the biggest signing of recent years.
I don't buy it. Despite the large markets back East, the actual support is thin, and the atmosphere for a game that begins at 7:00 is much better than one that begins at 4:00. If the Red Bulls and Revs were routinely stuffing their stadiums full, and there were a clear demand that needed to be met, then okay, let's see about moving the occasional game up to meet it. But until then, it makes more sense to me to optimize the experience of the local fans here. We're the ones who come out in droves, we're the ones who pack the bars, we're the ones who tune in to every away game on local TV, we're the ones who buy all the team merchandise.
As nice as it would be for the league to get a big TV contract, I think that comes when there are more credible teams league-wide, not by trying to pimp a big match here and there to an audience that really isn't there yet.